14 February 2017
Valentine’s Day is upon us and love is in the air - but a heart beating faster than usual might be a sign of much more than just a romantic reaction!
Palpitations – the speeding up or changing of your heart beat – can be caused by a variety of things and the excitement of seeing a loved one can be one of them. But in some cases they can be associated with much more serious conditions.
Dr Thuraia Nageh, a consultant cardiologist at Spire Wellesley Hospital in Southend, explained: “You may feel your heart pounding or beating irregularly – often for just a few seconds or maybe minutes – or sometimes it seems like your heart missed a beat.
“These symptoms may seem alarming but, the truth is, in most cases they are quite harmless. However, they can also be a sign of more serious problems involving heart valves or a thickening of the muscles and walls surrounding the heart and it can also indicate an abnormality in the electrical activity of your heart and may be a sign of heart failure.
Dr Nageh, who was appointed Consultant Cardiologist at Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in 2005, has extensive experience in the assessment of possible coronary artery disease and heart failure as well as in general cardiology including the management of palpitations and heart arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats).
“In most cases palpitations are not a cause for alarm, but it is wise to be aware of palpitations and how long they last and how often they occur.
“If they last a long time or occur quite often it is best to get yourself checked out by your GP. If they think there is something amiss then we can carry out ECG (electrocardiogram) or cardiac ultrasound tests that enable us to make a rapid assessment and diagnosis of the patient,” she said.
“If you are worried about palpitations its best that you discuss it with your Doctor. As with so many health problems the quicker you get medical advice the better your treatment outcomes will be,” she added.
The content of this article is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the professional medical advice of your doctor or other health care professional